Parliament has come under fire for passing a vote for the government to construct stadia for Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers using tax payers’ money at a time weak classroom block continue killing learners in the country’s public schools.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition Vice Chairperson, Gift Trapence, said the move by Parliament to pass the budget shows that the country’s members of Parliament do not care for poor people.
“As HRDC, we urged our members of Parliament to look at the priorities of the countries when passing the budget but we have seen that they do not have the welfare of Malawians at heart. They think that by authorising the vote, it will help them to be re-elected during the next elections,” he said.
Leader of Opposition in the House, Lobin Lowe, said all Malawi Congress Party MPs spoke against the vote but they were defeated by numbers.
The vote was passed on the voice vote and the opposition did not call for division where the MPs voted one-by-one if they were not satisfied with the outcome of the voice vote.
“The Committee of Supply has its own procedures and if we were to be going into division on every vote, we would not have passed the budget by now,” Lowe said.
Lowe accused the government of laying a trap for the opposition MPs to be perceived as enemies of local football fans.
“You remember President [Peter Mutharika] went to Nsanje [District] and lied that he wanted to construct a port but the problem was with Mozambique. This time around, the government wanted to lie that they wanted to construct the stadiums but the problem was us, the opposition. Now that they have won, let us see how they are going to implement this illegal expenditure,” he said.
Lowe concurred with HRDC that the country has better things to do with money than constructing stadia.
In the last two years, walls of makeshift school blocks have collapsed and killed five learners in Zomba and Mwanza districts.